The neocons’ core contradiction revealed
David Gelernter, author of the blasphemous, uber-neocon theory that Americanism is a “Judeo-Christian religion,” has an article in the Weekly Standard castigating the Democrats for wanting America to be defeated in the war in Iraq. He writes:
The Democrats are not unpatriotic, but their patriotism is directed at a large abstract entity called The International Community or even (aping Bronze Age paganism) the Earth, not at America. Benjamin Disraeli anticipated this worldview long ago when he called Liberals the “Philosophical” and Conservatives the “National” party. Liberals are loyal to philosophical abstractions—and seek harmony with the French and Germans. Conservatives are loyal to their own nation, and seek harmony with its Founders and heroes and guiding principles.What Gelernter says about the left echoes something I’ve pointed out many times—about the neoconservatives. Namely that the neoconservatives believe in America (which is what makes them seem conservative), but the America they believe in is a universal democratic idea, not a particular country (which shows that they are really liberals). Here Gelernter applies a similar critique to the left. The left, he says, believes only in a disembodied idea, while the neocons, well, they’re the real patriots, they believe in the American nation.
Americanism is the set of beliefs that has always held this country together in its large embrace. Americanism calls for liberty, equality, and democracy for all mankind. And it urges this nation to promote the American Creed wherever and whenever it can—to be the shining city on a hill, the “last, best hope of earth.” Ultimately, Americanism is derived from the Bible. The Bible itself has been a grand unifying force in American society, uniting Christians of many creeds from Eastern Orthodox to Unitarian, and Jews, and Bible-respecting deists like Thomas Jefferson—and many others who respect and honor the Bible whatever their own religious beliefs.So, Gelernter starts by asserting that the neocons, unlike the left, believe in the American nation, then he turns around and defines this nation as a Jacobin-style crusade to liberate all humanity. He thus perfectly demonstrates what I’ve been saying about the neocons since 2002 and 2003.
Question: is Gelernter consciously lying when he boasts of neocon patriotism, or does he believe what he’s saying? In my view he’s innocent of lying, because, being utterly ignorant of and indifferent to the actual American nation, he simply defines the nation as a universal idea, and therefore has no awareness of the fundamental contradiction between these two concepts.
But what then of his critique of the left’s false patriotism, where he shows that he does understand the difference between a nation and a universal idea? The two cases are different. The leftists believe in a globalist order, and they want America to go down. The neocons believe in a globalist order, but they want America to be its fountainhead. And it’s this desire for America to inspire, organize, and represent a democratic world order bringing all mankind together under a single belief system that the neocons call patriotism and conservatism. The left dreams of a Single Unified Humanity—led by the UN. The neocons dream of a Single Unified Humanity—led by the U.S. Neither side believes in the American nation.